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Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Our First Beer

I gave my husband a beer making kit for Christmas this year.   He gave me a cheese making kit.  It was a kit-tastic Christmas.  I have already chronicled my beginning cheesemaking (misses), but I kept forgetting to talk about the beer!  (Beer will do that to you, I guess.)

So I am here to rectify that lapse!  We found beer making to be surprisingly easy (when you use a kit!)  So if you have never made your own beer, here is what we did:

First you boil the grains together for about an hour.  Our house smelled so delicious that even the kids came running, asking what I was making for dinner.  If only the would do that when I actually cook barley.

Then you strain the grains and are left with only liquid.  This is when you start to add the hops, etc.  My husband did this part, so it is kind of a blur.

Once you have added all the ingredients and boiled it, then you have to cool the liquid rapidly.

The sink works well for this step.  After cooling, we straind the liquid into a glass jug and added the yeast.

At this point all the happy little yeast get to work and the juice starts jumping.  So you have to have a way to let the gasses escape while maintaining a clean environment.  For the first day or two you use a long, sterile tube that ends in a cup of sterile water.  

It looks cool and science experimenty.  Then, once the gasses have slowed down, you remove the tube and add a bubble trap.  It sits like this for a good while.

At this point, the process becomes hazy to me.  At some point you put this in a dark place.  Then you bottle the liquid, taking care to leave as much of the "pellet" (that sandy particulate stuff at the bottom, behind).  We used clean Grolsch bottles for our first batch, but we have been saving bottles for a while and finally bought a capper.  Our next batch will be in regular, brown bottles.

Then your beer ferments in the bottle for another 2 weeks.  I distinctly remember the 2 weeks!

Then, finally, you can chill and drink the beer!

I liked the IPA.  It was a richer flavor than what you can buy in the store, and it was definitely stronger!  I am looking forward to the Honey Sage Seasonal,

which is cooking on our counter right now!  (Look, we had so much, we had to start a mason jar for the extra!


  1. Oh, the yeastmeister must have been ecstatic to find another outlet for all those grad school studies!

  2. Yeah, now his education finally paid off! :)


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